From Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, acclaimed author of The Most Beautiful Book in the World and The Woman with the Bouquet, comes another collection of richly imagined narratives that consolidate his position as a master of the novella.
In this collection’s opening story, a woman with more skeletons in the closet than most falls in love with a parish priest, to whom she confesses her sins. But her motives and her intentions are anything but honorable or pious. The title story is the tale of two friends and rivals whose differences will at first lead to a terrifying and near fatal accident, and then to a vendetta lasting a lifetime. In “The Return,” while away at sea a father is told that one of his four daughters has died but not which. He will ask himself the question no father should have to ask: which child would he want dead. His long ruminations will lead him to a realization of his failings as a man and a father and ultimately toward a touching transformation. “Love at the Elysée Palace” is as fine a short story as any in contemporary literature, and one that treats the themes of love, marriage, and forgiveness with superb delicacy and remarkable tenderness.
In this vivid collection, Schmitt writes about regret and redemption, about the roles of love and memory in our lives, all with a lightness and compassion that is as rare as it is inspiring.